The Senior Bowl wraped up for the week with the game played last night won by the South 35-18 with Pat White being named the game MVP. White is an intriguing prospect, a kid that I don't believe can play QB in the NFL, but is such a great athlete that you want to get him on the field somehow. He is quite simply a playmaker. Greg Cote claims to have a source that says Miami is interested in Pat, but at this point in Miami rebuilding process I can't see Miami selecting a player specifically for the Wildcat Formation. Miami still needs basic building blocks added to this puzzle.
Let's look as some possible building blocks, starting with the OL. Miami is working to re-sign Vernon Carey at ORT, but in case it does not happen a couple of guys to look at that could possibly fit the mode. Phil Loadholdt played OLT while in college at Oklahoma and he did have a nice Senior Bowl game playing both OLT and ORT. I believe his future is as a ORT and this massive 6'8, 337 lbs man has a much natural ability and tools as any T in the draft. The concern with him is handling speed, which sounds familar and some maturity issues. Herman Johnson is another massive young man at 6'7, 382 lbs and has played ORG while at LSU. He did struggle during Senior Bowl practices but looked pretty good at ORT during the game last night. When both he and Loadholdt get there hands on you, it is over. Centers Eric Wood of Louisville, Alex Mack of Cal and Max Unger of Oregon did a nice job while playing at both OG and C. They help to nuetralize the formidable duo of BJ Raji and Ron Brace of Boston College. Tyrone Green of Auburn is another pure OG that had a good game last night and played well against Raji.
Switching to the DL, BJ Raji raised his stock and I doubt he get's anywhere close to Miami draft position in the 1st round, as he had a dominate week of practice. I thought it would carry over into the game last night, but he was pretty much nuetralized last night along with his partner Ron Brace. That being said he showed during the week of practice that he can play in a 4-3 or 3-4 and play the nose tackle position. Brace is not at the level of Raji, but he is a handle full as well and I think he could be more of the 3-4 type NT guy. Robert Ayers of Tennessee, Larry English of Northern Illinois and Cody Brown of UConn are guys that have the athleticism to make the move from college DE to OLB in college in a 3-4 defense in my opinion.
At LB, Scott McKillop, the outstanding ILB for Pittsburgh really played a solid game last night. The only drawback I see for Scott in regards to Miami is his size at 6'2, 245 lbs. Rey Maualuga has the size and playmaking ability the trifecta wants and he also had a nice week of practice and solid game last night causing a fumble. At 6'2, 260 lbs he fits the mode of the ILB that Miami would possibly want, but once again he will not get to #25 in the 1st round. Brian Cushing is another SC linebacker that fits the mode, but once again will he be there at #25? There is also the concerns about Cushing and his ability to stay healthy as he struggled with injuries as SC. Clay Matthews is the last of the trio of LB's from SC that looks like he could be a pass rushing force at OLB in a 3-4 scheme and I have seen some comments that all 3 of those linebackers could go in the first 40 picks of the draft.
Two guys that ggippo is really high on and seem to seperate themselves at the safety position this week was Louis Delmas of Western Michigan and Patrick Chung of Oregon. Both guys have nice size, as Delmas is 5'11, 196 lbs while Chung is 6'0, 200 lbs. Both kids are hitters and have good ball skills, especially Chung. You would think that would be important for Chung considering he plays in a conference that features the passing game as the Pac-10 does. William Moore came into his senior year considered the dominat safety, as he had 8 interceptions his junior year and has the size and speed you want in a safety. But his senior year has featured injuries and his play has declined dramatically. He did not have a good week of practice as he struggled in coverage and did not look good in the game last night before he got hurt in the 1st half. Teams will have to go back and look at his junior film and his senior film to make a decision on were to draft Moore. He will need a good combine just to get himself back into the 2nd round right now. At CB, Coye Francies of San Jose State and Dominique Jackson of Jackson State and Darius Butler of UConn really stood out to me at the game and Macho Harris of Virginia Tech looked pretty solid as well.
There are so many players to discuss and look at and they will over the next few months. Join us tonight on Phinfever Live at 8:00 as we discuss some of the prospects for the NFL Draft.
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